vey (USGS) and NSF. NEHRP continues to be the mainstay of federal support for earthquake studies.

NEHRP was established by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-124) to “reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes in the U.S.…” The act authorized additional funds for the USGS and NSF to conduct wide-ranging studies on the fundamental causes of earthquakes with several practical objectives, including the identification of earthquake hazards; the development of an earthquake prediction capability; the preparation of plans for mitigation, preparedness, and response activities; the development of seismic design and construction standards; and the education of the public about earthquakes hazards. In 1980, the act was amended to include the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, then the National Bureau of Standards) and to designate the newly created Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the lead agency. The roles of the four agencies were further clarified in the 1990 NEHRP Reauthorization Act, which cast their primary responsibilities as follows:

  • FEMA coordinates the NEHRP program, plans and manages the federal response to earthquakes, funds state and local preparedness exercises, and supports the development of improved seismic design and construction techniques for new buildings and retrofit guidelines for existing buildings.

  • USGS conducts and supports Earth science investigations into the origins of earthquakes, predicts earthquake effects, characterizes earthquake hazards, and disseminates Earth science information.

  • NSF funds earthquake engineering research, basic Earth science research, and earthquake-related social science research.

  • NIST conducts and supports engineering studies to improve seismic provisions of building codes, standards, and practices for buildings and lifelines.

Congress reauthorizes the program at intervals of one to three years, most recently for FY 2001 ($101.5 million), FY 2002 ($105.8 million), and FY 2003 ($110.3 million) (3). The split among the agencies for FY 2001 is 48 percent (USGS), 30 percent (NSF), 20 percent (FEMA), and 2 percent (NIST). The President’s budget request for FY 2003 is $117.9 million. Appropriations for NEHRP have declined significantly in constant dollars since the late 1970s.

In addition to funding ongoing earthquake hazards activities of the four NEHRP agencies, the Earthquake Hazard Reduction Authorization Act of 2000 authorizes the establishment and operation of the Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System (ANSS) and the Net-



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